Otsemobor confident Owls can absorb Marshall loss

DEFENDER Jon Otsemobor has stressed that Sheffield Wednesday are not a one man band.

The departure of winger Ben Marshall, a prize asset for the team since arriving on loan from Stoke City last summer, has rocked Owls supporters.

Some fear his loss will be a major blow to the club’s hopes of automatic promotion.

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Otsemobor is equally disappointed but insists the Owls are equipped to cope.

He said: “You don’t want to see your better players leave and Ben had a big impact on where we are this season. It’s very disappointing to see him leave but it opens the door for other lads to prove themselves. We are where we are because of the squad we have got.

“Ben was a big part but I wouldn’t say he was the be-all and end-all of where we are in the league.

“Everyone knows he’s not coming back so it’s an opportunity now for lads who haven’t had a look in to hopefully take the shirt and do as well.”

New signing Mike Jones, Jamaican international Jermaine Johnson, and winger Daniel Jones are currently the three best alternatives available to manager Gary Megson.

“Whether they can do as good a job as Ben is hard to say but I feel they have the ability to take the shirt,” said Otsemobor. “It’s an opportunity for other lads to carry on where Ben has left off.”

The Owls slipped to fourth in the table last weekend after suffering a first home defeat of the season against leaders Charlton Athletic but look to return to winning ways this afternoon against mid-table Hartlepool United at Hillsborough.

“I don’t think the Charlton result has knocked confidence at all and, although we lost to Charlton last week, our aim has not changed. We still want to finish top of the league,” Otsemobor stressed.

“From now until the end of the season, I think there will be a lot of chopping and changing at the top of the league. We all want to play at the highest level possible and a lot of the lads think this club will be in the Championship next year.”

Back in action after struggling with Achilles problems, Otsemobor now has a fit-again Lewis Buxton breathing down his neck for the right-back spot.

“Wherever I have been, I have always had good right-backs in my position so this is no different,” he said. “It’s not only me fighting for my position and that’s healthy for the club.”